Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Children's Book Review: The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Name of Book: The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Author / Illustrator: By Eric Carle
What It's All About: In the light of the moon a little caterpillar comes out of an egg and begins to eat his way through different foods.  Each day he eats a different food and on Saturday he eats through lots of foods.  He feels so sick that Sunday he eats through one green leaf.  Then he isn't sick anymore and he isn't a little caterpillar anymore.  He spins himself up into a cocoon and becomes a beautiful butterfly. This story is charming, brightly illustrated, and informative in a general way about the life cycle of caterpillars, the days of the week, and what foods look the most delicious to a caterpillar. 
My Favorite Bit: I have two favorite pages.  I love the words to the first page.  It makes me drop my voice low and smooth and say, "In the light of the moon a little egg lay on a leaf."  My other favorite page is everyone's favorite page: the page for Saturday where the caterpillar eats through many different foods.  We pick our favorite food every time we get to that page.  Today it's the piece of pie.
Go Get It: The Very Hungry Caterpillar on Amazon US in hardcover
Suitable Age For Reading It To: This is a book for small children.  The words are big and short, the pictures are large and vivid, and the tale is easy to understand.  This is one of my four year old's favorite stories. 
A Little About the Author / Illustrator: Eric Carle was born in New York in 1929 and moved with his parents to Germany when he was six years old.  He returned to New York in 1952 and became a graphic designer at The New York Times.  Carle's technique is collage using hand-painted papers, which he cuts and layers to form the images for the stories.   Bill Martin Jr. contacted Carle to illustrate a story he had written after he saw a lobster that Carle had created for an ad.  The book was Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? Here is the lobster that 'launched' Carle into the illustration world.
Carle says: “With many of my books I attempt to bridge the gap between the home and school. To me home represents, or should represent; warmth, security, toys, holding hands, being held. School is a strange and new place for a child. Will it be a happy place? There are new people, a teacher, classmates—will they be friendly?
I believe the passage from home to school is the second biggest trauma of childhood; the first is, of course, being born. Indeed, in both cases we leave a place of warmth and protection for one that is unknown. The unknown often brings fear with it. In my books I try to counteract this fear, to replace it with a positive message. I believe that children are naturally creative and eager to learn. I want to show them that learning is really both fascinating and fun.”
Check out more about Mr. Carle on his website.

1 comment:

  1. Of coarse we love this book. I really enjoyed your insight into the Carle, and especially the quote you shared. This is an inspiring way to use books as I think about my kids transitioning into school... Thanks!